Saturday, 22nd May, 2010.

The Royal Progress?

     How good it was to see the shiny new UK
Prime Minister racing off – as soon as he knew he was the Chosen One – to visit
the colonies.

     Wales is physically closer to Westminster than, say, Scotland so, of course he came here fir . .
.   Oh.  
Please forgive me.   I meant to
say “as soon as he’d visited
Scotland”.

     That fact alone convinces me that Scotland is considered more important that
is
Wales.  
Unless, of course, he was doing things in an orderly alphabetical
manner.

     And, in any case, the PM is of Scottish
origin and is entitled to wear a kilt.

     That must be why he – as Leader of the
Tory Party – has told us that he is “committed to devolution”.   And goody-goody, our brand new English Welsh
Secretary, Mrs. Gillan, seems quite keen on the idea of the people of
Wales making our own laws.

     What a nice, non-imperialist bunch we have
in charge of the
Westminster governing system.   I guess Mr. Cameron’s next generous move
will be to grant an Assembly to the poor, downtrodden English.   That really would be a commitment to
devolution!

 

Adding To The
Suffering

     Jan Williams lives in Garth, a small place
in Powys.   She has breast-cancer.

     For her chemotherapy treatment, she has to
travel down to
Cardiff every three weeks.   Yes – you check it up on your map:  quite a journey, eh?

     The treatment, as most of my readers will
know, is physically draining.   So Jan
has to travel all the way back when she’s feeling rotten.   And she is not the only patient who has to
travel for treatment.

     The lady is hoping to raise sixty-grand to
ensure that – for a year at least – the mobile treatment unit which is used
down in
South
Wales
can
visit Powys once a week.

     Chemotherapy is not the only treatment for
which our people have to travel vast journeys.  
Many people I’ve met have to go on such trips for various ailments.   Some of them are first-language-Welsh-speakers,
so not only do they have to leave their home area, they also have to use
another language.   That’s not really
conducive to a good bedside-manner.  
Especially when some of the patients have to go to another country for
treatment!

     Sixty-thousand pounds is not, in the grand
scheme of NHS things, a great deal of money.  
Jan Williams’ will, I’m sure, reach her fundraising goal.

      But should Welsh health-care have to rely
on charity?

 

How To Spend Our
Money

     There’s talk and, maybe, firm plans to
spend a billion pounds.

     Yes – a billion pounds!

     That’s our money:  yours and mine.   We pay all sorts of taxes into government
piggy-banks, and those we (well, some of us) elect spend it.

      So this time, a billion pounds (I keep
repeating that, don’t I?!) will “need to be spent” on speeding up the rail link
between
Cardiff and London.  
That is if anyone wants to get to anywhere in Mother England quicker . . .

     Well, apparently they do.   “Business people” – whoever they are
– need to do the journey in less time there and back (or back and there).   And the sop of “It will make more businesses
re-locate to
Cardiff, we hope” is there to appease those whose
money is going to be spent.

     Please make a note of the phrase “we hope”
in that quoted sop-line.

 

A Solution To Two
Problems

     Cardiff Airport was again affected by this wretched
volcanic-ash this week.   And the escape
of oil from the BP well hasn’t been stopped yet.

      A pal of mine suggests the ideal
solution:  use the ash to bung up the
hole from which the oil’s escaping in vast quantise.

     Problems solved!

 

A Cultural Feather
In
Wales’ Cap!

     There’s been another wonderful even to
show that
Wales does not lag behind when it comes
to culture.   We are known as “The Land
of Song”, and have produced poets and bards and performers with great talents.

     Now, little Ruthin has added another
cultural event to the Welsh spectrum.  
During the past week, the town has held – a Scarecrow Festival!   The whole place, it seems, has taken on the
challenge to produce scarecrows.   Many
of them are modelled on famous personalities.

     As I go to press, I have heard no reports
of one which looks like the Prime Minister.  
Shows how respectful the people of
Wales are, doesn’t it?

     If anyone knows of any other such Festival
happening in
Wales, please let me know – this is an
important piece of artistic creativity!

Archie Lowe

archie.lowe@laughingdragons.co.uk

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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